The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution Review

I tried The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning SoIution after it was recommended by a friend. I was desperately in need of improving the appearance of my acne active and scarred skin following as acute wave of eczema and acne. Two years ago, I put got a copper intrauterine device (IUD) put in and almost immediately, my skin went on a rampage. Acne-like I had never experienced before (That story is here).

When I finally got the breakouts and waves of inflammation under control with medication, my skin was left uneven, blotchy, dry and generally just looking awful and rough. A friend of mine who swore by The Ordinary line suggested I try it and I did.

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I started using this toner in one full year in the daytime (I use Ole Hendrikson Glow OH Dark Spot Toner at nights) and I feel equipped to review the timer in full.

sacred acne skin
How I Started Out

How to Use The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

1. Cleanse Your Skin

The toner is applied after you have cleansed the skin with your preferred cleanser. Using a cleanser from The Ordinary’s line generally improves results. That’s usually the case with product lines, so you may want to consider trying out one of their cleansers as well, just to see if that helps. Pat your skin dry.

2. Apply the Toning Solution.

Once your skin is clean, apply the toner to a cotton pad and gently apply the product to your skin. I have been know to place the product in my palm, press them together and then use them to press the product into my skin.

That’s not how the instructions say but it works for me. Sometimes, I think there is a better result since using your hand warm up the product a bit before it is applied.

3. Moisturise as Usual

Once you have applied your toner, you can move on to applying your moisturiser, sun block, etc. you might want to pay attention to the products you are using because you definitely wouldn’t want your skin to react badly to the product and result in any irritation, burn or anything like that.

Other thing to Things to note

The toning solution is best for PM (night) Use

Firstly, it’s an acid toner and it’s recommended that you avoid direct exposure to sunlight while wearing it, ergo PM use. Since I work from home, I have no issues using it in the mornings. It’s recommended for use once per day.

Avoid the Eyes in Application

I find that when I use it more than once, my skin feels a little itchy.

When using this product, you also want to give around your eyes a wide enough girth when applying this toner. I find it may burn and can irritate the area, particularly the delicate skin at the outer corners of my eyes if it is applied too closely there.

My Results Using The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

Problems that using this toner resolved for me were:

  1. Acne Scarring Reduction and Uneven Skin Tone
  2. Moisture Level and Retention
  3. Reduction of visibility of Pores
  4. Reduced Breakouts
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution Review

1. Acne Scarring and Uneven Skin Tone

The toning solution considerably reduced the dark spots and hyper pigmentation I was battling with after my episode. This was a major source of consciousness for me. I hardly took any picture and I hated using enough makeup basically to cover my face. I was extremely happy to get back to low to medium coverage foundations, and to be able to comfortably go without makeup again.

2. Moisture Level and Retention

As far as moisture goes, this is one of the best toners I’ve ever used. It does leave a slightly tacky feeling residue after it is applied, but it fades. The residue is also not messy or uncomfortable, and I rarely feel the need to add any other products after I’ve use it (although I use sunflower oil as a moisturiser).

3. Reduced Pores Size

One very big issue I had following my breakout were suddenly huge, gaping pores. This toner has helped considerably with the appearance of my skin tone and even the appearance of my pores, which had gotten considerable large over the course of my ordeal.

While my pores in some areas like my nose and T-Zone are remain visible large, the ha been significant improvement.

4. Reduced Breakouts

When using the toning solution, I don’t experience much new pimples and black/whiteheads. I do have my hormonal pimples at certain points during my cycle, but I’ve noticed that when using this product they do not leave a dark spot which sometimes used to happen.

The dark spots would sometimes take months to clear up on their own, but when using the toner, they are less likely to leave the dark spot and when they do, it clears up within a few days or weeks.

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% toning solution
My Skin Now

You May Also like: The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution Review


The toner is under US$10 for a 240ml bottle of product. It last for several (more than six) months, so I would say it is worth the price, considerably. The toner is considerably better priced on the Sephora website, than third party selling websites, like say Amazon.

Final Thoughts

I love the toning solution. Consistent use brings about fast and very obvious results. It remains my favorite and has now been inducted into my beauty routine as an old faithful favorite.

I have also been using one of the chemical peels from the same brand, but that’s another review for another day.

If you are on the market for a good toner that works wonders and is very nicely priced, this one is it.

Have you tried acid based products? Specifically, have you tried The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution? What are your thoughts?

Xo, Shandean

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Shandean Reid

Hi, there! I’m Shan, a heavily caffeinated Jamaican millennial and effectual storyteller at heart. This blog is my transparent narration of life as a physician’s wife, mom, communications professional, author and anything else I need to be on a given day. I hope you’ll consider subscribing!




  • Candi

    Before I started acne medication this toner helped me get quite a bit of the texture I had on my face under control. I’ve paused my use for now because of the prescribed medication but I’ll be back to using after this bout of therapy. I too would recommend this toner

    • Shandean

      Yes, it was definitely a lifesaver post acne meds! Thanks for reading.

  • Sue-Ann

    Nice 👏🏽

  • Eva

    Amazing article! I absolutely love glycolic acid 🙂

  • Chelsi

    This is great info. I just recently was recommended glycolic acid face wash and toner by my derm for my adult acne and rosacea. It has been a good change so far and I’m excited to see where this goes.

    • Thanks for reading, Chelsi. Glad to hear it. I hope you come back to share your thoughts in a few weeks!

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